Course contents summary
Naturalism is often defined as the worldview of contemporary philosophy. The dominance of naturalism in ethics creates various conundrums and problems: first and foremost the compatibility of moral demands and the natural-scientific image of the human being. The class shall present an itinerary through the work of classical thinkers in the phenomenological tradition in dialogue with contemporary scholarship on ethics and naturalism.
The first unit will examine some arguments in the contemporary debate on naturalism. The second unit will focus on the critique of naturalism in the phenomenological tradition. The third unit will turn to consider some contemporary proposals for a mediation between phenomenology and naturalism.
1) David Papineau, “Naturalism” https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/naturalism/
2) Kelly James Clark (ed.) The Blackwell Companion to Naturalism (Blackwell 2016)
3) Andrea Staiti, Etica naturalistica e fenomenologia (Il Mulino: Bologna 2020)
4) Tristam McPherson/David Plunkett (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Metaethics (London/New York: Routledge 2017)
6) Further articles and book chapters will be available on the online Platform
Frontal lecture, seminar-style discussion, discussion with invited international experts.
Assessment methods and criteria
One written term paper on a topic to be determined with the instructor. The paper will be subsequently discussed in person during the oral examination. Alternatively, students may require to be examined orally in English or Italian after submitting a two-page critical discussion in English of one of the texts discussed in class.
Assessment criteria and assessment thresholds:
30 cum laude: Excellent, excellent solidity of knowledge, excellent expressive properties, excellent understanding of the concepts
30: Very good. Complete and adequate knowledge, well-articulated and correctly expressed
27-29: Good, satisfactory knowledge, essentially correct expression.
24-26: Fairly good knowledge, but not complete and not always correct.
22-23: Generally sufficient knowledge but superficial. Expression is often not appropriate and confused.
18-21: Sufficient. The expression and articulation of the speech show important gaps.
<18: insufficient knowledge or very incomplete, lack of guidance in discipline, expression seriously deficient. Exam failed.